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Tech News Today 161: Stux To Be You

by TWiT

Published January 19, 2011

Proof Google spikes search results, Your employer can spy on emails to your lawyer, Stuxnet should be sucks-net, and more.

Run time 47:55
Producer TWiT
Audio/Visual sound, color
Language English


Tom Merritt
Patrick Beja
Wil Harris
Jason Howell


Top Stories

Google gins search formula to favor its own services
Measuring Bias in "Organic" Web Search
Harvard professor Ben Edelman and colleague Benjamin Lockwood conducted the study.

Nintendo 3DS details -- March 25 (Europe) March 27 (US and Canada) - Nintendo 3DS will be available for $249.99 (or €249.99) in aqua blue and black. Will play DS games.

HP / Palm tablet to feature Touchstone dock, cloud storage, Beats audio and Tap-to-Share smartphone integration
HP files for 'HP Touchpad' trademark -- a possible name for the webOS tablet?
Opal shoter and wider than Galaxy Tab -- Topaz will arrive three months earlier be about the size of iPad -- Features ::Touchstone ::Tap to share (wireless file transfer :: Cloud storage in the 'tens of gigabytes' appstates and docs saved to cloud for seamless device switching:: Premium audio from HP Beats :;Flash:: Phone-to-tablet comm. if your smart phone rings, you answer it on the tablet::True multitasking

Discussion Stories

Stuxnet Authors Made Key Errors
security consultant Tom Parker at Black Hat DC on Tuesday
sent commands in the clear, command and control generally inelegant --Spread widely across the Net, not so good if it is meant to be targeted, ---lame code obfuscation. -may have been developed originally on contract and then once it was handed off to the end user, that group adapted it by adding the C&C infrastructure and perhaps one of the exploits, as well.

Court: attorney-client e-mails not private if you're at work
Third appellate court in Sacramento finds that attorney-client communications can no longer be considered confidential if you have waived your rights to work e-mail privacy.

More Ads On Roku Could Lure More Channels, But What About Viewers?

LivingSocial Sells Over 700,000 Amazon Gift Cards in 14 Hour
Living Social Gambles on Half-Priced Amazon Gift Certificates

News Fuse

Microsoft gave a tidbit more information about the weird data download behavior of Windows Phone 7. A spokesperson told the Seattle P-I that a third-party app was likely responsible and they were working with the third party to fix it. Paul Thurott finds this unlikely as WP7 has no multitasking, unless it were an integrated app like Facebook. Watch Windows Weekly if you'd like to hear further discussion.

We aren't the only ones who saw the forum post claiming Samsung won't upgrade its Galaxy S phones because it wants to charge the carriers for it. Samsung heard it too and has given Phone Scoop the following statement: "No. Samsung is not charging carriers for Froyo updates to Galaxy S. We hope to have more detail on status shortly. Promise!" How about details on the delay too.

Playboy publisher Hugh Hefner announced on Twitter that ALL issues of Playboy magazine, in their uncensored form, will arrive on iPad this March. This would seem to contravene Steve Jobs previous statements that the iTunes app store would not allow porn. Or I'm guessing Apple considers Playboy art. In either case I'm sure you're just downloading it for the articles.

Can't reach your wallet while buying that 30 oz. coffee at Starbucks? Use the phone your rudely chatting on! Starbucks is rolling out its Starbucks Card mobile app in the US with payment capability built-in. You can get the app for the iPhone, iPod touch, and a number of BlackBerry models -- and then hold up a barcode on the screen to a scanner in the store to pay and go back to chatting with your doctor about your high blood pressure.

Google has announced that Google Earth, Picasa and Chrome are now available for download in Iran. Google worked closely with US officials to craft the download service in such a way as to satisfy US sanctions against Iran. Google has created versions of its software that block all Iranian government IP addresses from utilizing them — thus satisfying the new restrictions. How long before Iran blocks Google ya think?

AMD just announced its new Fusion-based Embedded G-Series platform, which can be used for things like set-top boxes, in-car computers, small form factor PCs, and others. The platform includes the low-power x86 "Bobcat" core and a DirectX 11-capable GPU. Among the first products announced are a pair of Mini-ATX boards from Fujitsu and three SFF systems from Kontron, with more expected in the "coming weeks.

Canonical founder Mark Shuttleworth revealed on his blog that Nokia's Qt toolkit will be included as a standard component in future versions of Ubuntu. The move will pave the way for applications built with Qt to become a part of the popular Linux distribution. Many mobile app developers use QT to create cross-platform versions of their software.

Those cool new 5-finger multitouch gestures unearthed in the last iOS beta not only don't mean a buttonless iPad is coming, but won't even be available in the final version of iOS 4.3. Beta 2 of the next iOS just dropped and Cupertino says it's "providing this preview to gather input on how these gestures work with your apps

Kickers and Weird Science

Flasher Detection' Algorithm Aims to Clean Up Video Chat
To get over the problem of skin-coloured walls and furniture, they combine skin detection with motion detection that compares sequential frames to see whether the"skin" is moving. And they use face, eye and nose detectors to distinguish facial from non-facial skin. The results are fused and the image is then classified as normal or offensive, having been trained on the initial dataset.


Today: Nokia E7 up for pre-order in Finland for February delivery
Today: Vudu arrives on the Boxee Box, along with a host of big fixes
January 23rd - AT&T tweaking messaging plans, killing some upgrade discounts, raising fees and MicroCell pricing
January 27 - Sony rumoured to announced the next PSP at Tokyo event according to Bloomberg.
February 8 - Dell 'means business,' schedules San Francisco event
February 13 - Samsung teasing announcement, looks like successor to Galaxy S
February 14-17 - Sony Ericsson also expected to unveil PlayStation Phone at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona
PC Virus Turns 25

Voice Mail

Anonymous: Samsung Vibrant updates


"Hello Tom, Jason and whoever else is on the show today,

On TNT160 Tom remarked that on Android, unlike BlackBerry and iPhone, not all the phones will be updated to the latest version. All I want to point out is that even on iPhone, you don't get the latest update on all the phones - the original iPhone no longer gets the latest version at all, and even the 3GS doesn't get the full feature set. The only reason it's more noticeable on Android is because there are much more phones.

Love the show, keep up the great work, Kost."

"Buenas tardes TNT,

I just listened to yesterday's show and I have one helpful piece of advice for potential Sprint customers. While there is no way around the new $10 premium that they are charging for smartphone plans you can go ahead and use their SERO program (aka the Everything Plus Referral Program) to start a new account for just $69.99 a month versus the $79.99 they advertise as the base smartphone plan.

You just need to go to and it will ask you for a Sprint employee email address and the last 3 digits of their employee ID. Russ McGuire, a VP with Sprint, offered up his info to give anyone access to the SERO plans a couple years ago. So thanks to Russ you just enter and 383.

And voila you have your $10 a month back.

Keep up the great work.



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Tech News Today
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